March 24, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Baha explains the circumstances pertaining to His incarceration and final release

When the deposed Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdu’l-Hamid, arose in tyranny and oppression, ‘Abdu'l-Baha was incarcerated in the prison of Acca and was surrounded with the utmost surveillance of police, detectives and men of the Secret Service. The door of communication was entirely closed and the means of correspondence was prevented. If any soul approached the house he was searched; nay, rather, threatened with dire persecution. The affairs reached to such a degree that, not being satisfied with these restrictions, the Sultan sent an oppressive investigating Commission, so that with all kinds of wiles, simulations, slander and fabrication of false stories they might fasten some guilt upon ‘Abdul-Baha in order that he might crucify Him, or cast Him into the sea, or banish Him into the heart of the distant and unknown Sahara of Feyzan (Africa) That oppressive investigating Commission exercised its rights with tyranny and passed the sentence that ‘Abdu'l-Baha merited all kinds of persecution. Finally they decided to send Him to Feyzan, and when they cabled this decision to the palace of Abdu’l-Hamid, an answer was received that the matter of Feyzan was approved by the Imperial Order. Then that unjust investigating Commission returned to Constantinople. They were in the midst of the sea when the cannon of God boomed forth before the palace of Abdu’l-Hamid, a charge of dynamite was exploded, a number of people were killed, Abdu’l-Hamid fled into the interior of his residence, difficulties and trials surrounded him, and incidents and events developed rapidly. Therefore he did not find the opportunity to oppress ‘Abdu’l-Baha; public revolution was started, which ended in his deposition, and the Hand of Divine Power released the neck of ‘Abdu’l-Baha from the chains of the prison of Joseph and the fetters and manacles were placed around the unblessed neck of ‘Abdu’l-Hamid. Be ye admonished, O ye people of insight! Now ‘Abdu’l-Baha, with the greatest power, has hastened to the country of Egypt from the land of prison. Praise be to God, that through the Bounty and Providence of the Blessed Perfection, no sooner did he land in Alexandria than the Word of God was promoted and the melody of the Kingdom of Abha was heard. All the newspapers wrote innumerable articles. Some gave the utmost praise; others raised a great cry, saying: "The arrival of this personage in this land will shake the pillars of Religion and will shatter to pieces ancient customs and conventions. He attracts everyone he meets and when he loosens his tongue in any meeting, it creates faith in the hearts of the deniers.'' The papers are still writing detailed articles and will continue to do so. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a Tablet addressed to the American believers in 1911, Star of the West, vol.2, no. 4, May 17, 1911)